Cyberpunk 2077 Review thread - Umm....

stroopwafel

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Isn't that exactly how wicther 3 worked? Three main quests (that are just thinly veiled excuse to force you to go to the three main hub to do side quest) and then end game.

I gotta say, as someone who thought witcher 3 wasn't anything special, I'm kinda baffled that cyberpunk reception is so iffy when the two seems incredibly similar:
-Incredibly buggy launch.
-Poor main story that mostly exist to get you to do side quest.
-Large empty world devoid of activity.
-Repetitive quest design that boil down to fetch or kill quest.

Yet somehow all of this is either ignored or forgiven in the case of witcher 3. I wonder if maybe a lot more people are playing cyberpunk at launch and when they played witcher 3 long after release and so are more annoyed with the bug?
TW3 was really iterative so CDPR could focus on what they are good at. World building, characterization, writing, quest design etc. The game's qualities are below it's surface layer. With CP2077 they made something they have zero experience in, an open world first person shooter with upgrade trees and hacking abilities. They hyped it to high heaven and marketed into something it isn't all the while development focused on high-end PCs and ignored the last-gen issues. The situation with TW3 was really quite different.

As an open world game it really isn't that great. AI of NPCs is braindead. The police in GTA3 has more dynamic AI which is a 20 year old game. But on the other hand it has a ton of interior locations without loading screens with level appropriate geomotry, the shooting mechanics are great and the verticality of the world adds an entire level of complexity. The atmosphere is genuinely fantastic and sets a disturbing mood of unstoppable technology having invaded the human body. It's a world where human flesh is like a delicate flower. How the society adapts to this technology; few settings are so well realized as Night City. It really feels like an interactive set of an Asimov novel or late 80s Verhoeven flick.

You can see the potential but it's just unfortunate that it isn't met half of the time. CDPR is a developer that has really grown in size but much of the inexperience still shows. Espescially when they are tackling new genres and have to build them from the ground up. But same as Witcher I just hope they learn from this process and redeem their mistakes with the next game. A lot of the problems are unfortunately a lot more structural than which could be solved by bug fixes.
 
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Gethsemani

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Isn't that exactly how wicther 3 worked? Three main quests (that are just thinly veiled excuse to force you to go to the three main hub to do side quest) and then end game.
My criticism of TW3 is actually the reverse, that the main quest is too long and bloated and that you could cut out the first three main quest threads about finding Ciri and get a much more focused main quest about what the game really wants to be about: Ciri's destiny and the impending Great Frost. Because TW3 only really starts once you find Ciri. At that point you need to find allies, investigate the Wild Hunt and find a way to defeat them and stop the Great Frost. After those 3 quest lines you still have at least 20 hours of story to go and something like 16-17 of those have you be able to access the open world stuff.

TW3 was too bloated, CP77 is disastrously lean. To give you an indication: There are like 8 street gangs in the game, of them only 3 have any presence in the story (Maelstrom, Mox and Voodoo Boys), the remaining get token presence at best (Animals are the opponents in one mission, 6th Street Gang show up for one exchange in another), while you don't even interact with the rest unless you go open world. Similarly, you don't even go into about half the map at all in the main story and the only districts that get any real story time is Watson (where V lives) and the Japan District.

Yet somehow all of this is either ignored or forgiven in the case of witcher 3. I wonder if maybe a lot more people are playing cyberpunk at launch and when they played witcher 3 long after release and so are more annoyed with the bug?
I played both at release and your criticism of TW3 is pretty spot on. As I've said many times before in regards to TW3's open world: It absolutely nails atmosphere and the feeling that it is a lived in place, but it is very barren and static outside of the icons. It is not a Rockstar open world and even Bethesda's open worlds are more living and reactive then either TW3 or CP77.
 

XsjadoBlayde

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Got to try a bit of the game pre-patched recently, out of sheer morbid curiosity. Chose Nomad intro, with the assumption I'd get to play the outsider...you know, building trust and relationships with total strangers in an unknown city. The game, however, had other ideas, so yeeted the poor "nomad" experience right out the window by insta-friending you with some dude, then cutting out 6 months of all that "building trust with strangers in an unknown city" with a jaunty montage of you being BFFs with every dealer and mole around, while funneling you into this implied brotherhood with the friend you've only just met (in reality), so they can pull a thing where they're trying to make you feel an emotion from this attachment, but it's not formed properly or even much at all, so the earnest music swelling and the eager voice performances are bouncing off a massive "but y tho?"
First glitch was a few seconds in, when my character pulled a big wired plug out of a car engine to put another plug in, but the first plug model forgot to disappear, so the new wired plug went through the model like a boring mirage. What was your first like??
 

hanselthecaretaker

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Got to try a bit of the game pre-patched recently, out of sheer morbid curiosity. Chose Nomad intro, with the assumption I'd get to play the outsider...you know, building trust and relationships with total strangers in an unknown city. The game, however, had other ideas, so yeeted the poor "nomad" experience right out the window by insta-friending you with some dude, then cutting out 6 months of all that "building trust with strangers in an unknown city" with a jaunty montage of you being BFFs with every dealer and mole around, while funneling you into this implied brotherhood with the friend you've only just met (in reality), so they can pull a thing where they're trying to make you feel an emotion from this attachment, but it's not formed properly or even much at all, so the earnest music swelling and the eager voice performances are bouncing off a massive "but y tho?"
First glitch was a few seconds in, when my character pulled a big wired plug out of a car engine to put another plug in, but the first plug model forgot to disappear, so the new wired plug went through the model like a boring mirage. What was your first like??
Yeah I thought that montage was weirdly out of place too. Like, I’m not even there yet game, and you’re going to ruin my sense of arriving in this amazing city with a flash of flaunting what I’m about to do before I’ve even decided on doing it?

*sigh*

But having said that, I had only just gotten a good nights sleep before being summoned out again after calling it a night in Night City, so my experience is almost nothing in the game proper. However, the prologue (Nomad here as well) for me was surprisingly better than my initial outing with The Witcher 3, and that was about 2.5 years after release, not a few days. Ran smoothly on my PC with the latest driver, no SSD or RTX card. Game defaulted me to a pretty even mix of Ultra and High settings. No crashes *knocks on oak, but I’m sure they’re inevitable* and the only noticeable glitch I had was an info box for my room’s Stash that wouldn’t disappear.
 
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DJShaddycat

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Eh, how so? That was pretty much timeless.
Just the whole bit about "I'm sure game (Of course he's talking about CP2077 in this case) will be great" etc etc... When the game came out to be a buggy mess.
 

Dirty Hipsters

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So, I apparently just hit the Point of No Return quest. The thing is, it comes way too soon in a narrative sense. Without spoiling (but if you don't want any spoilers as to the narrative structure, stop reading here): After the prologue is done and the main story is a go you get three different leads to pursue to find out more about the Gizmo that's driving the plot. You do these three and find out more about it and what you need to do to save the day... and then it is end game! The problem is that it feels as if there's a whole act missing, in which you use the knowledge you have acquired to work your way towards the end. Instead you go straight for the big resolution.

It really is one of those things that makes you realize that CP77 must have been a real disaster of a development, because it is giving me the same vibes as Malachor V from KOTOR2. No doubt there must have been more content in the middle that got scrapped, because if you go straight for main quest only, I doubt you'd be even halfway to the level cap.
If that's true then that's a very strange progression from a narrative point.

The game opens up only once your character is dying and has an in-universe time limit. It doesn't make sense for V to be driving around doing gigs for fixers, hunting down cyberpsychos, looking for Delamain's cars and dealing with gang turf wars when he/she is supposed to be trying to figure out a way to survive the shard.

I started the game as a Nomad, got into the city, and then there's a cutscene of all the things that happened in the next 6 months. That time period should have been playable. That's when you should have been building up fixer connections, doing jobs, learning about the gangs, building your relationship with Jackie, etc. Once the heist happens that's when railroading you into the main quest would have worked better thematically.

The game opens up at the point where it makes the least amount of sense for the narrative, and then based on what you've said it seems to close up again.
 

Satinavian

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I tried corpo origin, got to experience being kicked out of the corpo due to infighting and then had some 6 month montage about starting to live in the underworld as well. I strongly suspect, it was even the same montage.

I kinda can see why they did it. It you really play out those 6 months joining the underworld, they would have to do that slightly different for all three origins. But if you are at least somewhat established as criminal for hire, when the game really starts, they have a far easier time with all the NPC interactions.
 

stroopwafel

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If that's true then that's a very strange progression from a narrative point.

The game opens up only once your character is dying and has an in-universe time limit. It doesn't make sense for V to be driving around doing gigs for fixers, hunting down cyberpsychos, looking for Delamain's cars and dealing with gang turf wars when he/she is supposed to be trying to figure out a way to survive the shard.

I started the game as a Nomad, got into the city, and then there's a cutscene of all the things that happened in the next 6 months. That time period should have been playable. That's when you should have been building up fixer connections, doing jobs, learning about the gangs, building your relationship with Jackie, etc. Once the heist happens that's when railroading you into the main quest would have worked better thematically.

The game opens up at the point where it makes the least amount of sense for the narrative, and then based on what you've said it seems to close up again.
How would Keanu Reeves fit into this then?
 

Gethsemani

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If that's true then that's a very strange progression from a narrative point.
It really is. It got even worse when I realized I had like 2-3 side missions that seemed fun left to do before the PONR, so I went to do one of them and the following hour or so was seemingly back to back calls from people offering me new side missions. In theory I like the way they've made a lot of side missions nested and unfolding so that you get these self-contained storylines unfolding over the course of a few hours and how some side missions branch off into multiple ones. In practice, the main missions are too few and several side missions are gated behind one or more main missions in a way that means you can end up in my situation, where you have one main mission left to do, few side missions in your journal and suddenly get a handful of new side missions dumped on you if you just dally around. For someone who looks at their journal and only see boring side quests (Beat on the Brat), they'll be able to cross the PONR without realizing they've missed out on a lot of premium side missions.

How would Keanu Reeves fit into this then?
He wouldn't. =P
I think that's really the problem with CP77's narrative arc versus how it wants you to play it. The main narrative is all about urgency, but the game wants you to take it slow and do side content. It feels really weird to have a cutscene that really amps up the stakes and makes it seem as if you only have hours, at the most, to find a way to resolve the main mission... And then walk off and faff about for a week or more of in game time because of all the side content you haven't done.
 

stroopwafel

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He wouldn't. =P
I think that's really the problem with CP77's narrative arc versus how it wants you to play it. The main narrative is all about urgency, but the game wants you to take it slow and do side content. It feels really weird to have a cutscene that really amps up the stakes and makes it seem as if you only have hours, at the most, to find a way to resolve the main mission... And then walk off and faff about for a week or more of in game time because of all the side content you haven't done.
Definitely agree with that. The side content doesn't flow with the urgency of the main quest. More open world games have that problem of course but here it actually actively undermines it. Probably also have to do with the low completion figures of TW3's main quest as CDPR mentioned. They wanted to have a shorter main quest that really grabbed player's attention not realizing it would break the internal consistency of the game's design and it's emphasis on side quests.

Besides Keanu I doubt if the open world was really such a good idea anyway. It's the reason of the game's performance issues and it only has a handful of worthwhile side quests anyway that they could have easily parked in a smaller, setpiece driven hub world without all the extraneous fluff. None of what would make this a '100+ hour RPG' is actually any good and only undermines what actually is good about the game.
 

Ghostrick Dorklord

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I actually did buy this game at launch. I also uninstalled it a few days after play. Let me explain my experience with this game. This is based on the PC version mind you buuut... Let's begin.

So I actually picked the Nomad's branch and really came to liking Jackie on first meeting because he seemed like a nice enough guy. I was actually getting pretty invested with the game's story to be honest. I liked the chemistry between V, Jackie, and T Bug and the whole around them seemed interesting enough. I also really liked how there was at least multiple ways to take on challenges too like the negotiations with the gang for example but that's also one of my problems with this game. It honestly feels like Fallout but with a different coat of paint. It really felt like I was having deja vu with this game to be honest. If it weren't for the story I'd say this would be like every other open world game in this style for lack of a better term. I am kicking myself in the butt for not exploring because to be honest I am bad with the whole "having freedom to do anything" thing so I did end up doing a lot of story missions. I think the gameplay is fine; It gets the job done at least.

However what killed the experience for me was the glitches that you've been hearing about. One time I was just driving along normally and then suddenly I go flying 50 feet in the air for literally no reason. I don't know what caused it because I was nowhere near a car or any obstacles so it just happened. I also ran into the nude glitch after Keanu Reeves came into my head after trying to put on my outfit back on. And cars off-road is the equivalent to the Skyrim horses but worse since you can get stuck easily as well as it taking a lot of time to get through stuff. This game's performance really tanked on my PC, even on the lowest settings so after a lot of slowdown and a crash later after doing normal things like driving I ended up uninstalling the game because it was actually affecting my computer's performance badly and it was a gaming PC.

But take my words with a grain of salt because I've only played like 8 hours of the game and 1 of them is more or less me being AFK due to circumstances so it doesn't really reflect the game as a whole. Don't get me wrong though I did enjoy from what I've played and I would like to tackle the game again if they either fix all the bugs and performance issues or I get a PS5 by then. Also for some miscellaneous thoughts I was a bit disappointed with the character creator because it does use preset settings over say a slider for it and you can't change your character's appearance after that which made me realize how dumb I looked after looking in a mirror. I also don't like how fashion equals stats either because I'd like to look cool or at least have an consistent style for most of the game. I do think Jackie's rather emotional death and the revenge plot against Dex being resolved in a cutscene despite all the setup for it is good enough closure for me to leave this game on. I don't mind sharing a mind/body with Keanu Reeves either so I don't mind leaving V hanging when this isn't so bad despite the game saying so due to a lack of urgency. I do wish the game wasn't in such a buggy state because I would like this game a bit more but its life.
 

Gethsemani

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Besides Keanu I doubt if the open world was really such a good idea anyway. It's the reason of the game's performance issues and it only has a handful of worthwhile side quests anyway that they could have easily parked in a smaller, setpiece driven hub world without all the extraneous fluff. None of what would make this a '100+ hour RPG' is actually any good and only undermines what actually is good about the game.
Yeah, one of the comments over at Shamus Young's blog pointed out how weird it is that all the gigs are handcrafted encounters made to accommodate almost any playstyle. They are all like smaller Immersive Sim levels with plenty of options to reach the objective and are quite a treat to do because of it. But why? In a game already plagued by issues and a time pressure to release on time, why spend so much content and level designer time and effort on tiny side activities that most players will likely just blow past?

CP77 is a game that obviously wants to be the crown jewel of the open world genre, but was so horribly mismanaged that it has more in common with Mafia and Mafia 2 (an open world that is mostly set dressing for a good story and pretty inconsequential to the actual core gameplay loop) then it does a Ubi-game or a Rockstar game. I constantly get the feeling that most of the open world is just a placeholder or rushed band aid to cover up that they didn't get the actual planned features into the game on time. I am really hoping that someone does a massive post mortem on CP77's development and what went wrong with it.
 

Satinavian

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Yeah, one of the comments over at Shamus Young's blog pointed out how weird it is that all the gigs are handcrafted encounters made to accommodate almost any playstyle. They are all like smaller Immersive Sim levels with plenty of options to reach the objective and are quite a treat to do because of it. But why? In a game already plagued by issues and a time pressure to release on time, why spend so much content and level designer time and effort on tiny side activities that most players will likely just blow past?
Because i bet the PC version was "ready" way earlier than the console ports where most of the issues lie. And adding new sidequests without new models/items/mechanics is something people can do who can't help with the porting. And if a short, selfcontained sidequest is not ready for launch, you can ship the game without it.

If a software product is not ready, that doesn't mean that all the development stuff can actually help fixing the rest. People specialize.
 

Gergar12

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There is literally no good endings, and we may get a DLC to Arizona, great more desert, I fucking hate games with sand done for the 80th time, we don't get enough city games as it is, it should be New York City or Atlanta that we go to not, Arizona
 

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How would Keanu Reeves fit into this then?
He'd be in the second half of the game.

First half your buddy would be Jackie, second half your buddy would be Keanu.

Keanu doesn't actually have all that much presence or dialogue in most of the side quests as far as I can tell.
 

hanselthecaretaker

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Yeesh. I'm really wondering why they couldn’t have just released the game on PC and kept debugging/optimizing the console ports in the meantime til they were up to snuff. It’s not like they haven’t done this before, like with The Witcher 2 when an Enhanced Edition was released a year later. Everything was peachy.

Having said that. it’s appreciated they’re still leading development on PC. They just need to go back to giving each version the time and care it needs to perform well.